October 2017 Newsletter     Like us on Facebook  Follow us on Twitter 
Lake Michigan Ship Graveyard May Become Sanctuary

Thunder Bay 2010 Expedition_ NOAA-OER _expl4133_
Thunder Bay 2010 Expedition_ NOAA-OER _expl4133_
NOAA is proposing to designate 1,075 square miles of Lake Michigan off the shores of Wisconsin as a national marine sanctuary for sunken ships. 

According to NOAA, "The shipwrecks in this proposed sanctuary represent a cross-section of vessel types that played critical roles in the expansion of the United States and the development of the Midwest during the 19th and early 20th centuries. During this period entrepreneurs and shipbuilders launched tens of thousands of ships of many different designs, with eastbound ships carrying grain and raw materials, and westbound vessels carrying coal, manufactured goods, and settlers." 

The proposed sanctuary site includes dozens of historic shipwrecks, 18 of which are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The site is also home to Wisconsin's two oldest shipwrecks, dating back to the 1830s. 

If the Wisconsin site receives national marine sanctuary designation, it would bring in hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal resources each year. It would be the first national marine sanctuary in Lake Michigan and the second in the Great Lakes.

Read more here.
NOAA Gets to Work After Maria Hits Puerto Rico 

On September 20, Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico as a Category 4 hurricane. Once the weather improved, NOAA's Thomas Jefferson and 38 crewmembers headed to the Caribbean islands to survey the damage and to assist where needed. Job one was to reopen harbors and ports, which are critical in rebuilding storm-ridden areas. Similarly, waterways needed to be deemed passable so shipping and commerce can resume. 

For three weeks the NOAA staff aboard the Thomas Jefferson --- which is equipped to stay at sea for extended periods --- used hydrographic equipment to survey more than two dozen areas and ports and made repairs to tide and weather stations. 

For a graphic illustration of NOAA's work in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, click here

Safety at Sea

The duty of a ship's navigating officer is to chart a safe course and keep the ship on that course. Marine Insight shares eight things the navigator should consider while chart plotting.
  • Understand the scale of the chart. It is provided directly below the name of the chart 
  • The notes section of the chart provides information about fishing areas, naval exercises or wreckages 
  • Be sure to read and understand all symbols on the chart 
  • Ensure charts are up to date. Corrections (changes to NOAA charts) are received weekly via Notices to Mariners, and should be noted on the chart. 

 Read more here.

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